Vaulting in Iran started earlier than most of you have probably thought, it stretches back to Achaemenian Empire or even before that time. Iranians continued to perform some actions on cantering horses showing different movements as for example jumps, scissors, mill, different swings, stand, etc.
But academically vaulting started 2 years ago under the FEI rules in Iran. One of the leaders of this movement is Mina Farahani who is the Head of the Vaulting Committee in Iran. She gave us interesting insights into the Vaulting World of Iran and the future of vaulting in that country.
At the moment, there is one vaulting club in Tehran but in other provinces there are horse riding clubs and the country counts around 50 vaulters.
From scratch to excellence:
Although the discipline has a long history in Iran, vaulting as we know it nowadays is quite new to Iranian athletes and there are many challenges Mina has to face.
In order to make it popular the Iranian Federation holds workshops every two weeks and sends Mina to different provinces of Iran to teach some crucial things, theoretically and practically. She also invites interested athletes and coaches from the gymnastics world to make them familiar with vaulting.
At national jumping competitions they perform 20 minutes’ shows to advertise the discipline.
Mina translated the FEI vaulting rules into Persian for people to know all the details about vaulting. The FEI has also sent an expert judge, Helma Schwartzmann from Germany, to Iran who trains, supports Mina and participates in the development of vaulting there.
Mina has also trained with Ralf Langer in Hannover and Alexander Hartl in Munich to improve her vaulting and coaching skills.
Another challenge is to get appropriate vaulting material. Therefore, Mina travels two times a year to Germany in order to buy vaulting material for her and her friends from all over Iran.
According to Mina, in Iran there are many athletes with big potential. Nevertheless, it is a long way to assimilate properly all the FEI rules. So she needs to inform, coach them and make vaulting more popular by doing shows and competitions. They also planned national shows among provinces hold in Tehran.
A dress code issue for female athletes:
In order to attend international competitions there is a lot of work to do on a national level first as for example a course for FEI judges. Furthermore, there are some cultural challenges the vaulters have to face. Iranian vaulting girls are not allowed to wear the tight costumes used for vaulting. The FEI would have to approve some looser kind of costumes to make it possible for Iranian female vaulters to compete in international competitions. Mina explains that there are many vaulter she considers capable of performing on an international level, but due to that limitation they get quite disappointed. For national shows for example they have designed special dresses showing the culture of different tribes of each province.
As we can see, Iranian vaulters have to face many challenges but with the help of the FEI, Helma Schwartzmann and Mina with her motto “when there is no goals, there is no efforts” vaulting in Iran is definitely on a good way!
Find some basic information about Iran in our infographic: